Thousands of tourists surround the Kukulcan Pyramid at the Chichen Itza archeological site during the celebration of the spring equinox in the Yucatan state, southeastern Mexico, on March 21, 2016.
The newly discovered pyramid is centuries older than the visible one.
The smallest pyramid is about 10 meters (33 feet) tall and encapsulated within a 20-meter structure which is itself covered with the 30-meter Kukulkan pyramid at the Mexican Chichen Itza site, researchers said on Wednesday.
It’s like a Russian nesting doll. Under the large one we get another and another, said project’s chief Rene Chavez Seguro.
The archaeologists used a non-invasive tri-dimensional scanning technique to discover and learn more about the structure.
The oldest building appears to have a staircase and an altar on the top, which may have been filled in and preserved.
Scientists estimate that it was built between the years 550 and 800 A.D.
Its construction “could tell us about the first-period inhabitants,” archaeologist Denisse Lorenia Argote said.
Scientists have long known about the intermediate layer, which dates back from the time between 800 and 1000 A.D. It was first discovered in the 1930s.
The visible pyramid was finished between the years of 1050 and 1300.